It’ll be a year until you can buy a netbook running Chrome OS, but developers have already figured out which present-day machines can handle Google’s operating system.
The full list is at Google’s Chromium site for developers, but Liliputing has picked out the computers that can run Chrome OS with Wi-Fi, trackpad and suspend/resume support. After all, a computer that essentially uses a Web browser as the operating system isn’t so useful if you can’t connect to a wireless network or use the trackpad.
Computers that can fully run Chrome OS’s current build include Asus’ Eee PC 1008HA, 900 and 700; Acer’s AOD250 and AOP531h; Gateway’s T720; and Toshiba’s Satellite A205-S5000, which is actually a 15.4-inch budget notebook, not a netbook. The developers are encouraging all hardware vendors to get their components working with Chrome OS.
The list is primarily intended for developers who want to run Chrome OS for testing purposes. “This page is for developers who both know how to build Chromium OS and aren’t afraid to take a screwdriver to their computer,” the list page warns.
Excitement and curiosity is building outside the developer community. One user has already built an early version of Chrome OS that you can run on a USB key. Seeing this, Dell released its own USB key image file for use on the Mini 10v netbook.
All of this is, of course, highly experimental, but it’s nice that Chrome OS can be tried out today, with new builds presumably coming in over time. This means we’ll be able to see how the operating system progresses from now until the official launch next year. And if you’re in the market for a netbook today, you can get a sense of which models will likely support Chrome OS if you want to switch over.